[SOLVED] Help retrieving and fixing loose CPU Heat Sink screw mounts in motherboard

Feb 13, 2021
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Hey everyone

I did my first PC build last week, and you can find the specs here https://pcpartpicker.com/list/GsBvCz. Everything worked pretty well, though I had some problems attaching the heat sink (more on that later). The PC booted up and ran smoothly, but the one problem was that it was consistently running hot. It would idle at 60-65 Celsius, and could spike up near 80 playing games. I was pretty sure the problem was that I'd smeared the thermal paste, so I decided I would try to reapply the thermal paste to the heat sink

The problem is that the mounts I was supposed to screw the heat sink into is loose, and I can't screw into them. I'm not even sure I got the screws right the first time, but now I definitely can't screw my heat sink into the motherboard. Originally the mounts were loose and looked like this https://www.dropbox.com/s/0trnm7nxm1wrees/screws_after.jpg?dl=0. I tried to fiddle around with them to get them attached. I think that made the problem worse, and now the area around the CPU looks like this https://www.dropbox.com/s/0trnm7nxm1wrees/screws_after.jpg?dl=0. You can see only the screw mount on the bottom left is still there, and the others are gone (presumably they've fallen into the board somehow.
I'm pretty afraid to turn on the computer in any state with loose metal hanging around, so I assume I'm going to have to disassemble everything (ugh). My question is, does anyone have any advice for fishing those screw mounts out of there. Additionally, does anyone have any advice for getting the screw mounts reattached/getting my heat sink reattached?

p.s. I'm not sure screw mounts is the right word, but what I'm describing is the points on the motherboard where you're supposed to screw the heat sink screws into
 
The "screw mounts" are all attached to a one-piece backplate. Remove the back panel from the case and you should be able to relocate the backplate into position for attaching the heatsink screws. If needed you can temporarily hold the back plate in position with a piece of tape.
 
The "screw mounts" are all attached to a one-piece backplate. Remove the back panel from the case and you should be able to relocate the backplate into position for attaching the heatsink screws. If needed you can temporarily hold the back plate in position with a piece of tape.
 
Feb 13, 2021
3
1
15
0
The "screw mounts" are all attached to a one-piece backplate. Remove the back panel from the case and you should be able to relocate the backplate into position for attaching the heatsink screws. If needed you can temporarily hold the back plate in position with a piece of tape.
This was completely the case! I ended up having a friend hold the backplate in place while I attached the heat sink. CPU temps are now idling in the high 40s instead of the low 60s
 
Reactions: drea.drechsler
Feb 13, 2021
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Fun Fact: Even if you get a good coat of thermal paste and screw the Heat Sink in properly, your CPU will still spike to high temperatures if you forget to plug the heat sink fan into the motherboard. Plug it in, and you can idle in the thirties!
 

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